In continuing this tradition of advocating for the preservation of Etobicoke’s heritage, the Society’s Heritage Committee is on alert for threats to Etobicoke’s historic buildings. In 2020, EHS learned of a development threat to 4946 Dundas Street West - one of the oldest heritage structures in the Village of Islington that is today the home of the Fox and Fiddle.
The original and oldest part of the building was a frame Methodist Church built in 1843. It was later bricked and then purchased by the Township of Etobicoke to serve as the first Township Hall. In 1947, a major expansion occurred under Hanks and Irwin, Architects. A second story was added to the 1843 building and large two-story additions were constructed at the rear and front. As urbanization intensified and expanded, Etobicoke opened a new Civic Centre at 399 The West Mall in 1958.
To protect the building as an integral part of Islington’s heritage landscape, the building was listed in 1979 on the City of Etobicoke’s Heritage Register under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. The historic value of the building was further recognized in 2017 during a plaque unveiling by Heritage Toronto and The Etobicoke Historical Society. The plaque can be seen on the south side of the building facing Dundas Street West.
Amica Retirement Homes had purchased the property as part of a larger land parcel with plans to develop a large multi-unit retirement home. The plan proposed to largely demolish 4946 Dundas St West leaving only the front façade of the 1947 Township Hall intact. At a public meeting in October 2020, the EHS opposed any demolition to the heritage protected building and petitioned that the entire structure should remain.
In March 2022, Amica issued a revised plan which altered the impact of the development to retain the entire front 1947 Township Hall addition as well as a portion of the west wall that was the 1843 building. This ensured the visible heritage aspects of building would be preserved. The revised plan was approved the City.